If you can smell your dog from across the room or if he's leaving footprints behind as he walks across your carpet, it is time for a bath. Bathing your dog does not need to be a scary or stressful experience; with some preparation, baths can be enjoyable for you and your dog.
"Make sure to offer your dog plenty of hugs and praise after his bath, especially if he was cooperative."
Many factors determine how often you should bathe your dog. Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors playing in the dirt require more frequent bathing than dogs that spend most of their time inside the house. Your dog's age, breed, and medical history are other considerations when it comes to bathing.
Generally, your dog only requires a bath if he is dirty or has rolled in something sticky or otherwise unpleasant. Smelly dogs and those with fleas, lice, or other external parasites can also benefit from bathing. Additionally, if your dog has allergies, he may be soothed by gentle bathing with an oatmeal or anti-itch shampoo.
You can treat minor bacterial, fungal, or yeast infections of the skin by bathing your dog with a specialty cleanser, such as Douxo or PhytoVet Medicated Shampoos. These shampoos help manage chronic skin conditions and reduce itching and inflammation. If your pet is prone to allergies or suffers from eczema, make sure you choose a hypoallergenic product.
Use the following tips to make bath time a positive experience
Dog Bathing Tips
- Gather all of your supplies ahead of time. This prevents the need to leave your dog unattended in the bathtub to collect shampoo or a towel. If you walk away from your dog while he is in the bath, he may follow you through the house, dripping water all over your carpet.
- Brush your dog before bathing to remove mats. If you leave mats in your dog's hair, the water will harden them and make them even more difficult to remove. This will also cause increased discomfort when you brush his hair later.
- Adjust the water temperature before putting your dog in the tub. A good general temperature is 102 degrees Fahrenheit, but some dogs prefer the water a little warmer or cooler. Always start cooler and gradually increase the water temperature, and check the water periodically while bathing your dog to prevent accidental burns.
- Protect your dog's eyes from soap and shampoo. Placing a washcloth over your dog’s eyes is often helpful. If you have a hand-held sprayer, use it. It makes rinsing easier and enables you to wash your dog's head without dumping water over his face. Wash your dog's face with a small towel and rinse carefully. Also, try to keep soapy water from running into your dog’s mouth, and discourage your dog from drinking the bathwater
- Rinse your dog well. Soap residue is irritating to the skin and can leave your dog's hair feeling stiff or sticky. Plus, leaving soap and other products on your dog’s skin increases his risk of developing an allergy. After washing your dog, drain the tub water and rinse his entire body. If your dog has long hair or sensitive skin, rinse him a second time.
- As soon as you are done rinsing your dog, close the shower door or curtain and allow your dog to shake. Once he's done, remove any remaining water from his coat with an absorbent towel. In cooler temperature, you may want to blow dry your dog, if he allows it.
Make sure to offer your dog plenty of hugs and praise after his bath, especially if he was cooperative. Rewarding your dog reinforces positive associations with bath time, which will help ensure future baths go smoothly.
The above is provided for information purposes only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition.
This information does not cover all possible variables, conditions, reactions, or risks relating to any topic, medication, or product and should not
be considered complete. Certain products or medications may have risks and you should always consult your local veterinarian concerning the treatment of
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